Dairy Checkoff sees international innovations as its next arena

The Dairy Checkoff is into its third phase of dairy product innovation over the last decade. 

Global Innovation Partnership executive VP Paul Ziemnisky with Dairy Management tells Brownfield 10 years ago they started to focus on innovation with big foodservice players like Dominos, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and McDonald’s.

“The important thing for farmers was that was then copycatted.  We call it the catalytic affect.  Dunkins just announced $100 million investment in expresso equipment and so did Burger King, Panera—and we didn’t have to invest anything.”

For phase two, Ziemnisky says they wanted to enhance customer experiences with milk and the checkoff has now moved into phase three with international exploration.

“Any new innovation we launch with Pizza Hut in Southeast Asia, they agreed to us U.S. dairy on it.  Imagine if you can get them to have dairy even half of what we do in the U.S. and the billions of pounds of milk that we’ll move.”      

The dairy checkoff is also following food and beverage trends outside of milk and finding ways to bring them into dairy including enhanced nutrition products, indulgent foods, and sustainable and kid-friendly packaging.

Brownfield interviewed Ziemnisky during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

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